André walks out of the tattoo parlor, proud of the bicycle branded on his right calf. At the age of 75, this lover of the little queen had fun. “I accept all kinds of people. People come here to personalize and beautify their bodies,” notes David Racana*, owner of Tattoo Passion in Thonon-les-Bains. Eva, 20, who has multiple tattoos on the left side of her body, thinks it’s “very beautiful”. “Experience among the youngest is perennial, which appeals to them in a world where (almost) everything becomes obsolete quickly,” explains David Rajana. The image of the tattooed rebel has been shattered in recent years. Next we see bankers, professors, tattoo shop owners, and women are in the majority: 20% need tattoos, compared to 16% of men**.
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“If Western tattooing today affects different sociological profiles, it is because it is particularly diverse, drawing inspiration from Japanese and Polynesian customs. The proposal has also become more sophisticated”, notes Sébastien Galliot, an anthropologist and researcher at the CNRS. Abstract, watercolor, cartoon, mandala, dotwork… there’s something for every style. “The sexist concept of tattooing is outdated,” said Claire Lahuerta, art professor at the University of Lorraine. Floral designs used to be reserved for women, but not anymore. Similarly, the back and chest are no longer typically male areas. “We can talk about an art that carries the personality of the tattoo artists”, affirms David Rajana. We no longer go to the first salon to get a tattoo on a whim, but we keep in touch because we appreciate what he does. The latest trends: bras sewn directly into the skin by the Brazilian Duda Lozano or even very thin, more feminine lines.
“We have less pain than before, no vision (no pain, no results). Currently, salons are being created that promote kindness based on listening, welcoming … “, notes Claire Lahuerta. Eva fondly remembers the day she got a seven-piece tattoo inspired by a poem composed from a story she told. The head of this more connected approach: women. They are talented from tattooers. have become tattoo artists. “At the Evian Tattoo Show convention I organized in 2007, there were two of them; this year they represent 40% of the exhibitors,” says David Rajana. “They have established themselves in a macho environment with their ambitious, unconventional work. . We’re getting out of the chain tattoo. It’s creating a sorority that does good and is reassuring,” says Naomi Clément, author of Tatoueuses (Leduc), where she paints a portrait of these women who move the lines. The image of virility associated with the profession of tattoo artist is outdated.. .
From the living room to the boudoir
Intimidating halls filled with testosterone and blaring rap or metal music are on the way. Eva Edelstein, exgrafist, we find ourselves in a “girly” space in pastel colors, where we are welcomed with a cup of tea. Her floral and elegant style is so sought after that she’s been busy for a year! As for the creative studio run by Alexia Yumcha, there is nothing intimidating or cold about it: with its gilded and wooded facade and antique furniture, L’Encrerie (in Paris) looks like a cabinet of curiosities, one feels like an antique shop. ! The tattoo artist graduated with a master’s degree in psychology and became known for his beautiful and symmetrical creations inspired by his native Khmer culture. “But Alexia’s tattoos are not only an ode to her roots, the artist envisions them as protective talismans, with a very clear intention behind them, to empower, calm or guide people.” Naomi Clement says. . What gives deep meaning to the act of tattooing. Claire Lahuerta notes: “These ‘soft’ experiences go beyond simple ornamentation, but also encourage people to come up with personal projects. So 22-year-old Julie went with her parents to ‘stay together and not forget the family memory that happened during the typhoon in Japan.’ plans to get an umbrella tattoo at the same time.But it doesn’t stop there: this ankle, which has been operated on and still doesn’t dare to look at, intends to adorn it with a tattoo that will cover its scars.
“Today, tattooing helps to restore the body and eliminate complexes”
“Today, thanks to feminism, tattooing helps restore the body and eliminate complexes,” assures Claire Lahuerta. Everyone can find themselves there at a certain point in the trajectory of life: highlighting the signs of cesarean section, showing their difference, etc. Tattooing, for example, became a means of expression to combat fatphobia or sexism. “Andro Gynette, an artist based in Nantes, specializes in puns to erase vices: “Fat love of my life” on the stomach or “Be beautiful and calm” on the visible… In Gisor, ruquiquine transforms cellulite and elongates. marks the works of floral art. Some practitioners, such as Lidiyana Ka, consider tattooing to be therapeutic for the soul and go so far as to integrate it into a series of energy practices (guided meditation to create one’s own designs). There is only one step from care to therapy, and the association Sœurs d’encre (sœursdencre.fr) has taken it. His reason for being? Caring for women undergoing breast cancer surgery by beautifying their scars, thus making the disease a chosen symbol. Or how to help them cover up the ordeal beautifully and come out stronger… Soeurs d’encre brings together tattoo artists present all over France and trained in collaboration with doctors. Who said that a tattoo is necessarily useless?
* Author Tattoo Passion, an illustrated guide to tattooing, Favreau. ** Ifop 2018 survey.
Thank you, Instagram…
The success of tattoo artists owes a lot to Instagram. This social network based on the distribution of images is particularly suitable for paintings and allows people to be recognized across borders. After that, we choose a tattoo artist because we have seen and appreciated him in this environment. #payetontattooartist was also born on Instagram. A healthy account (about 13,500 followers) comparable to the #MeToo movement because it allows victims of abuse and discrimination to express themselves anonymously during the session. The goal: End sexist practices and violence in the tattoo (and piercing) world.